My coworkers at every job always say “you’re the most positive person I know”. I’m thinking if they only knew. I wasn’t always like this; I use to be the most miserable, depressed, disillusioned person in the room, and I still have bad days but I know how to feel, deal and keep my expectations real. There comes a time in a person’s life when their given an opportunity to make an impact on their life or a life of another and sometimes that impact is as simple as a few words or a sentence. I had that someone and those few words to change my life. Now I live as a positive influence for others. My impact on people is through guidance. We can address poverty, abuse, illness, but it cannot be successfully eradicated without optimal mental determination. You can give a person food, shelter, clothing an education but if they are not psychologically able to grasp or understand the opportunity before them, chances of success are unlikely.
I’ve worked in various fields but all of them addressed effects on special populations. I’ve studied natural disasters and its effect on populations in the us and Europe, I’ve been a prison guard for mental health facility and then a special education teacher, and later I worked at a couple of shelters as a case aide which led me to my current position as a mental health case manager at the Andrews Center. In all my experience, I’ve seen the same patterns. People that had various types of resources around them still could not live productive or functional lives. Talking with a lot of these individuals, I learned that something in there lives had prevented them from moving from victim to survivor. Some people needed motivation, some succeeded and others refused to move forward and make changes.
Victimization, rejection, and lack of opportunity can define identity; it becomes a coping mechanism or an excuse for failure, a doorway to mental health problems, poverty and self-destruction. I want to motivate individuals to live and enjoy life, to seek answers and solutions. I want to be most effective in my mission. For me that means I must become educated in the field, maintaining a close relationship with god, and advocate for those who can’t yet do it for themselves, and most importantly, be compassionate and have empathy.
I was one to play the victim a time in my life. Being a mom of four, a devoted wife, the daughter of sickly parents and a student, it left little room for self-discovery. Though I had a support system I never sought out help when I was over whelmed. I accepted I was the victim of an unhappy, oppressed life. This led to few successes and many failures in my life. It led to marriage problems, job burnout, and physical problems. I ended up having vertigo; I could not work, or take care of my children. I couldn’t drive and most of the time barely could walk without falling. I spent weeks in and out of the hospital taking various test but doctors could not find the cause of the illness. My doctor...